10th January
It was on this day...
1987 Connecticut's Wood-Chipper Murder Investigation Begins

The investigation into the disappearance of flight attendant Helle Crafts, who had vanished on November 18, 1986, begins. Her husband, Richard Crafts, was eventually convicted of murder after a thorough collection of forensic evidence. Friends had become suspicious after Richard was evasive as to the whereabouts of his wife. He also was proved to have lied when he said that he never left the house on the 19th November - credit cards proved he had bought bedding on that date. It was also discovered that he had bought a chest freezer and a wood chipper a few days prior to his wife's disappearance...

Police had witnesses that a wood chipper had been seen near the Housatonic River. A search of the Craft house found a blood smear on a mattress which belonged to Helle's blood type. An envelope addressed to Helle was found near the river. Police divers found a chain saw and serrated cutting bar, which had human hair and tissue embedded in the teeth.

2,000 hairs, three ounces of human tissue, two fingernails, two tooth caps, and five droplets of blood were found by the river. From this evidence, doctors managed to prove that Richard Crafts had disposed of his wife's body with a wood chipper near the river.

Crafts was eventually convicted after a deadlocked jury in the first trial. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to 50 years in prison.

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1953 Pat Benatar
1949 George Foreman
1945 Rod Stewart
1939 Sal Mineo
1927 Johnnie Ray
1908 Paul Henreid
1904 Ray Bolger
1869 Grigori Rasputin
Other News
1901: Beaumont, Texas, a 100-foot drilling derrick named Spindletop hits oil for the first time on mainland USA.
1946: First meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations meets in London, England.
1949: RCA announces the seven-inch, 45 rpm record.
1951: House Committee on Un-American Activities clears Edward G. Robinson
1979: Volkswagen Beetle stops production

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